What is Black Seed Oil?
Black seed oil or black cumin seed oil is the oil extracted from the seeds of a plant named Kalonji (Nigella sativa) which is a plant having therapeutic properties and is being used across the world since ages. In traditional branches of medicines like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani, it is used regularly for various ailments. Black seeds have been believed by the Persian sage, Avicenna, to help people recover from fatigue and he named these seeds “The Canon of Medicine”.
The plant which is native to southwest Asia and the Middle East is around 20 to 90 cm tall bearing colorful flowers and small dicotyledonous seeds that contain two active ingredients known as thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone which are mainly accredited for the medicinal goodness.
You can have the health benefits by eating the whole seeds or can have the oil extract (orally or topically) which is made by pressing the seeds.
Benefits of Black Seed Oil
Our liver is one of the most vital organs because everything that enters our body passes through liver to get detoxified and this includes several toxins and other harmful substances. Moreover, liver secrets bile which digests fats and keeps us healthy and happy.
If the liver of a person is damaged due to side effects of medications, alcohol or any disease, black seed oil comes to rescue. Recent studies have found that black cumin seed oil speeds up the healing of liver, and helps in prevention of damage as well as diseases.
The antitumor action of thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone was evaluated by Croatian scientists in mice and it was found that these two ingredients in black cumin seed oil caused 52% reduction in tumor cells.
Since black cumin seeds are loaded with both these phytochemicals, they prevent and treat cancer mechanisms including:
- Cell cycle arrest
- Apoptosis induction
- Generating reactive oxygen species
Studies show that black cumin seed oil might work as effectively as topical steroids in hand eczema.
Studies have shown that black cumin seed oil can be used as an adjunctive treatment for asthma. However, evidences don’t exist to support the usage of black seed oil as a standard therapy.
Considering the above health benefits of black seed oil, it’s better to include it in your day-to-day diet and live a healthy and happy life.